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KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s official visit to India from this Friday until next Tuesday underlines the strong bilateral relations between the two countries, which have been established for 60 years.

The visit, at the invitation of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be Najib’s third to India since assuming office as Prime Minister in 2009.

According to a statement released by the Communications and Public Diplomacy Division, Foreign Ministry today, the visit would provide opportunities for both Malaysia and India to exchange views on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.

During the visit, Najib is scheduled to visit Chennai, New Delhi and Jaipur.

The Prime minister will be accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, cabinet ministers and senior government officials.

In New Delhi, Najib will be accorded an official welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace, make a courtesy call on the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee followed by a restricted meeting with his Indian counterpart and a bilateral meeting with senior members of both delegation.

A Joint Press Conference will be held before the official dinner hosted by Prime Minister Modi in honour of Najib and Rosmah.

“Issues that are expected to be discussed during the bilateral meeting include trade and investment, infrastructure projects, defence cooperation, air services arrangements, tourism and culture relations as well as issues of mutual concern on regional and international cooperation.

“Several government-to-government memoranda of understanding and documents are set to be signed and exchanged during the visit. The exchange of the documents will be witnessed by both Prime Minister Najib and Prime Minister Modi,” the statement said.

Apart from the bilateral meetings, Najib will be holding dialogue sessions with leaders and captains of industries from major business sectors in India and is scheduled to attend a business luncheon and the 7th Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council Meeting (GSIAC).

Najib’s programme in Chennai includes an official reception hosted by the Acting Governor of Tamil Nadu, Vidhyasagar Rao and a meeting with the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi Palaniswamy.

The Prime Minister will also use this opportunity to have a dialogue session with the Malaysian community, including students.

Najib will also travel to Jaipur to oversee Malaysia’s participation in India’s infrastructure projects.

He is scheduled to meet with Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje Scindia, and attend a high level discussion on the progress of Malaysian companies in infrastructure projects in Jaipur.

“On the last day of the visit, the Prime Minister will also officiate the newly completed complex of the High Commission of Malaysia in New Delhi,” the statement said.

It added that Malaysia is optimistic that the visit would further strengthen the existing friendly ties between Malaysia and India not only in the areas of bilateral cooperation but also on regional and international issues.

— BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak congratulated the Tunku Mahkota of Johor (TMJ), Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim on being the new president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for the 2017-2021 term in conjunction with FAM 53rd Congress here Saturday.

“Heartiest congratulations to Tunku Mahkota of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim on winning FAM’s president post,” he posted on his Twitter account, last night.

FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin announced that Tunku Ismail won the FAM presidency unopposed after gaining the support of all representatives.

Kelantan Football Association (KAFA) former president Tan Sri Annuar Musa withdrew from the contest last Thursday.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has reminded the people regarding crucial matters which could destroy the country including being the country’s covert enemies or conspiring with the country’s enemies.

The Prime Minister said they were the people who did not love the country and only wanted to see its destruction.

“As Prime Minister, the interest of the people is my primary concern. I will ensure Malaysia continues to succeed and remained peaceful while the people continue to have the opportunity to find a living in this country.

“To achieve this objective, it is important for me to remind everyone about matters which could destroy our own nation,” he said in the latest entry in his blog najibrazak.com.

Reminding the nation of the Lahad Datu incident, he said the country lost many patriots following the irresponsible actions of some quarters.

“We can still remember the incident in Lahad Datu where security forces personnel were sacrificed because there were covert enemies. At that time, the intruders had obtained prior information on the movements of our security forces and ambushed our soldiers in a house,” he said.

Recently, he said the people almost became victims due to the irresponsible actions of some acting to frustrate the country and nearly caused the loss of an investment by Saudi Arabia following the spread of slanders on the country’s economy which was apparently going to go bankrupt and that it could not afford to pay the salaries of civil servants.

“This is completely not true. Thank God, after showing the actual performance of the country’s economy, Saudi Arabia agreed to invest RM31 billion in Malaysia through the petroleum company Aramco,” he said.

He said Malaysians would suffer losses if these irresponsible parties succeeded in their slanders.

Following the slander, Najib said the people would definitely be denied the employment opportunities of high income as well as opportunities from the supporting sectors from the Saudi Arabia investment.

At the same time, he was perplexed by a former national leader who was running down the country with news that were not true at all.

“According to him, Malaysia is among the 10 most corrupt countries in the world. This is certainly not true. We are actually at the 55th spot out of 176 countries in the 2016 Corruption Perception Index and there is room for improvement.

“But to lie, spread slanders and undermine one’s own country, I ask where is the love of this national leader for the country?” Najib questioned.

As a leader, he considered such matters as challenges and reminders to build the nation.

“Nonetheless, we as the citizens of Malaysia should continue to find the way forward. In facing the challenges, we also witnessed the real potential of Malaysia when the people are united,” he said.

Taking the example of the badminton event in Rio, he said the country almost clinched the Olympic gold while our footballer Faiz Subri succeeded in winning the FIFA Puskas award based on the spirit of the country and support of the people.

“The MH370 and MH17 crises have shown how strong Malaysia is when the people were united as one and Insya-Allah, the diplomatic relations crisis with North Korea would be resolved,” he said.

Apart from that, he said all Malaysians are the country’s patriots despite not being in the battlefield.

“We are patriots if we conscientiously carry out duties as civil servants,” he added.

He said teachers are patriots if they teach the children with dedication, parents are patriots if they ensure their children grow up as useful human beings while the people should continue to show their love for the country.

To build a nation, he said the people should stay united and the love for the nation should be continuously fostered with patriotism throughout the year and not just in the month of August.

— BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia almost lost a huge investment from Saudi Aramco due to the unpatriotic attitude of certain people who channelled incorrect information on Malaysia to the Saudi Arabian oil company, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said Saudi Aramco was initially reluctant to invest in Malaysia after having being fed information that Malaysia had purportedly been placed in the politically risky category.

He said the company was also given information that Malaysia was not a stable country, that its Employees’ Provident Fund was almost bankrupt and that the Government was unable to pay the salaries of its public servants.

“This is because there are people who are heartless, their motive is political but the victims are the Malaysian people,” Najib said when launching the “Ekspresi Negaraku” event at Dataran Putrajaya, here, Saturday.

He said that only after being given information on Malaysia being a successful country did Saudi Aramco’s trust return, whereupon the country received an investment of RM31bil from the oil company. – Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: The state visit by the King of Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to the country recently dispelled false allegations by irresponsible quarters that Malaysia is a failed country, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the visit, which was significant from various aspects, proved that the wrong information conveyed to the Saudi Arabian government was baseless.

He said the state-visit by King Salman was significant in various aspects and in recognition of Malaysia being it the first country for His Majesty to visit in Southeast Asia.

“If there are quarters that say Malaysia is a failed country, economy is not stable, resulting in wrong information to be conveyed to Saudi Arabia, especially Aramco (Saudi Arabian Oil Company), that EPF (Employees Provident fund) is bankrupt, no money to pay the salary of civil servants.

“When King Salman visits Malaysia, gone are all these allegations made by irresponsible quarters,” he said during the session on ministers’ questions in the Dewan Rakyat today.

— BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yeterday congratulated the higher education institutions that succeeded in improving the position of 11 subjects to the top 50 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.

“The standard of our higher education is improving, 11 subjects are currently in the top 50 at the global level! Congratulations and continue to #SoaringUpwards!,” Najib said in a post in his official Twitter @NajibRazak, tonight.

On Wednesday, a list of the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017 released showed that the 11 subjects comprised five subjects from the University of Malaya (UM), four from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and one each from Taylor’s University and Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM).

The Electronic and Electrical Engineering subject from UM is ranked at 23th, the best placing among the 11 subjects listed.

Other subjects also listed are Development Studies (26th), Mechanical Engineering (33rd), Chemical Engineering (38th), and Education (41st) of UM.

While from USM are Hospitality and Tourism Management (32nd), Minerals and Mining (35th), Chemical Engineering (38th) Environmental Science (49th); with Hospitality and Tourism Management (29th ) of the Taylor’s University and Religious Studies, Theology and Divinity (46th) of IIUM.

— BERNAMA

JAKARTA – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will be heading a Malaysian delegation to the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) summit here tomorrow.

The Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia, Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim said the summit was preceded by a Senior Officials Committee Meeting on March 5 and a Council of Ministers Meeting on March 6.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to arrive tomorrow evening and will attend a dinner held in conjunction with the summit and on March 7, Najib will deliver Malaysia’s statement during the general debate session at the summit.

The summit themed “Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean” was organised to celebrate the 20th anniversary of IORA which was established in 1997.

The Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia, Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim

Leaders of member countries will discuss and evaluate the development and achievements of IORA in the past two decades and to chart the future direction of the regional cooperation organisation.

Zahrain said leaders of IORA are expected to accept an IORA Concord as the document of the summit.

“The IORA Concord will declare the commitment of member countries on the objectives of IORA’s establishment including the promotion of regional maritime security, strengthening trade and investment cooperation, promotion of sustainable management and development of the fisheries sector and encourage tourism and cultural exchange,” he said.

The Prime Minister will also take the opportunity to hold bilateral talks with his counterparts at the summit to discuss bilateral and regional issues.

He said the participation of the Prime Minister at the IORA Leaders’ Summit showed the continued commitment and support of Malaysia towards IORA apart from the commitment to strengthen regional cooperation with member countries as well as with IORA Dialogue Partners to build a peaceful and stable Indian Ocean region.

Najib will be accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman as well as senior government officials from the Prime Minister’s Department and Foreign Ministry.

IORA now has 21 member countries in the Indian Ocean regional rim as well as seven dialogue partners namely China, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States (US).

— BERNAMA

KOTA KINABALU – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has advised Sabah UMNO members to continue to work for the welfare of the people.

Wanita UMNO Exco member Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said the UMNO president urged members to go to the ground to solve the people’s problems.

“This advice by Datuk Seri Najib is important because he is concerned with the development in Sabah. He is a role model because as the prime minister, he can choose to stay in Kuala Lumpur, but he always come to Sabah so that we do not feel marginalised.”

Rosnah, who is also Deputy Minister of Works and Member of Parliament for Papar was speaking to reporters after a meeting between Sabah UMNO leaders and the prime minister here, last night.

— BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia is not a pawn of any country and will hold firm to the rule of law in investigating the death of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

As a sovereign country, the Prime Minister said, Malaysia will not be pressured or be bullied into any form of action that is not deemed to be correct.

Malaysia has been having good ties with North Korea and has no reason to paint a negative image of that country, Najib reiterated, and added: “We are very objective.”

“Malaysia will stand firm, we will be guided by the principle of the rule of law to fi nd out the truth because the crime is committed in Malaysia,” Najib told reporters after launching the open interview programme for the 1Malaysia Training Scheme for the central zone here yesterday.

Najib was asked on Malaysia-North Korea relations after the criticisms by Ambassador Kang Chol on the investigation into the murder of Jong-nam.

Najib said the envoy’s comments, casting doubt on the Malaysian investigation, were “totally uncalled for” and “diplomatically rude”.

“They (North Korea) should help us to find out the truth.

That is more important than (making) sweeping and baseless statements,” Najib said.

On Feb 13, Jong-nam was at the KL International Airport 2 (klia2) at about 8am, waiting for his flight to Macau, when a woman suddenly covered his face with a cloth laced with what is believed to be poison.

Jong-nam sought help at a customer service counter and was rushed to the Putrajaya Hospital but died on the way. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Tuesday chaired the 128th meeting for Menteri Besar and Chief Ministers at Perdana Putra here.

Also present were Cabinet Ministers and Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa.

Meanwhile, Najib, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and other cabinet ministers clapped their hands when Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg entered the room for the first time as Sarawak Chief Minister.

Abang Johari was appointed as Sarawak’s sixth chief minister on Jan 13 following Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s death on Jan 11. — BERNAMA